14 July 2004

His Name Is Prince, and He Is Funky...


Last night, July 13th at Madison Square Garden, The Woman and I saw the man, the myth, the Prince. What a show. I've loved Prince for forever- his earlier work is my favorite, but I enjoyed some of his work on the new record, Musicology... which we were treated to a free copy of upon arrival at the show. Glad I didn't buy it myself.

The show started with a grand entrance and a quick run through of some Purple Rain-era hits, though he didn't actually...eh... finish the songs. Kinda ran through bits of em together. OK. Underwhelming, but not inexcusable. Much of the show thereafter consisted of long, sweat-drenched funky jams, riffs on songs. "Dance Music Sex Romance" from 1999 must have lasted 35 minutes, and included bits of "Crazy in Love."

I focus so hard on entertaining Bullshit Memorial...it taxes my very soul...

The set was intermission-ed by an acoustic set, which was fun. I would have rathered hear "Little Red Corvette" and "Raspberry Beret" electric, but it was cool hearing them at all. The impromptu blues jam was really exciting, and fun. Straight up- Prince can fucking SHRED on guitar. His showmanship makes him even more exciting and better than he actually is- he reminds one of Hendrix, even going to far as to declare on guitar dead, and throwing a sheet over it after wailing with it on a cover of "Whole Lotta Love."

Also- his drummer was a fucking animal, a monster, a beast- an ABSOLUTE force of nature. Remarkable. REMARKABLE.

"Kiss" was excellent, and the high point of the show, as was "Sign 'O' the Times." Both offered interesting but close to conventional takes on the originals.

Simply put, Prince is an amazing showman, active, moving (the show was in the round) playing to the crowd, incorporating Michael Jackson, James Brown, Ray Charles, Jimi Hendrix and the Sex Pistols into his stage presence. Everywhere he goes, you're attached to him. Musically I was a tiny bit underwhelmed by the show- but I was thrilled nonetheless- he brings it out in you. He OWNS the arena, and I've never EVER seen an arena so in an entertainers control, or so loud.

Here's how I'd rate Prince's best records:
  1. Sign 'O' the Times

  2. Purple Rain

  3. 1999

  4. Dirty Mind

  5. Batman Original Soundtrack

Obvious, I know. My favorite Prince song is "Raspberry Beret." And "Kiss." And "Take Me With U." And "If I Was Your Girl."

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